ninja skilz

i totally ran 5 miles on saturday.  it was great.   i wish i had some super cool trauma to report, but the morning was pretty calm. 

even though the run did not bring the drama, something did happened that was really random and just may be my undoing!  so, all of you that enjoy my suffering–  just wait.  it’s coming.

i reconnected with a peep  i met last summer on the trail. 

(when i say “met” i really mean “distracted” when i raised the roof and threw a few ooooo OOOOOO’s  her way every time we ran past each other). 

i was threading my car key through my shoelace when i spotted her–

i was all, “hi!  remember me?!”

and, she was all, “yeah!  you haven’t been here since last summer!”

and, i was all, “dude!  why you gotta call a sistah out like that, DANG!”

but, i let it go–   i understand that some running folks don’t fully embrace my philosophy of a six month rest period after a race.  whatever.

then she was all, “you’re tracey, right?”

i was all, “yeah!  WOW!  great memory!  and, your name is becky….. christy……”

and, she was all, “no.  i’m mary.”

then i lamely chuckled and said, “huh.  that was my next guess.”

but, she let it go.  because CLEARLY this woman has super ninja name-remembering skilz that i don’t possess–  how else would she  remember my name after  i yelled it out one time, 6 months ago, while i was running by her.   it’s pretty obvious i cannot be faulted for mary being a name ninja. 

after the total name fail i changed the subject real quick.  i asked her if she ran all year long.


she only STOPS  running  if the temperature drops below 20 degrees.

that is hardcore ‘skillets.  seriously.

then, i heard myself saying something INSANE.

i was all, “awesome!  do you think i could jump into your runs after the half marathon so i can stay on track?”

and, then the {name ninja/never takes a break girl} or ‘MARY’ was all, “sure.  but, what do i get out of the deal?”

then, no lie, i waved my hands all vanna white-style from the top of my head to my feet and said, “you get to run with all of this.”

thankfully, mary  let the comment slide, without pointing and laughing at me.

which made me think–  maybe i have ninja skilz of my own.

super-mad skilz that keep me from getting mocked when i make ridiculous statements.

but, seriously.  all ninja-ness aside.  let’s address the crazy situation my spontaneous response has gotten me into–  i’m now committed to running all year long.


let the pain and suffering commence!


a bottle of wine and a full length mirror

i was suppose to run 5 miles saturday.  i planned on running outside and early.  instead, i ran 3 miles– late in the afternoon, on a treadmill.  i was foiled by a late night and a bottle of wine.

guess what— a night of wine consumption makes me sluggish, and it makes my head hurt, and it makes running not so fun.

so.  there i was.  nursing dehydration and slug-like tendencies.  i knew i had to get some kind of run in, but even thinking about running outside, in the sun, made me want to blow chunks.  which left me with no choice, i was gonna have to do a treadmill run–  in front of a WALL of mirror.

i thought running was painful BEFORE??

guess what—  seeing my reflection added a new dimension to the trauma.

mirrors are mean. seriously.

i’ve decided mirrors are rude, and any mirror of a super-sized nature is NOT my homeskillet.  fo’ realz.

see.  that rude reflector of truth shattered my last shred of runner dignity.  it made it very clear i look completely wack when i run.

i mean, i don’t intentionally go for freaky, but  that mean mirror made it clear that the combination of my unique breathing technique to avoid the dreaded side-stitch, and the freestyle hand movements i use to punctuate the music piped in through my m&m ear-buds kinda keeps all potential cool points at bay.   (yes.  i have blue m&m ear-buds.  no.  they are NOT taking off cool points all by themselves.  seriously.)

here’s the thing–  when i run outside i can at least pretend i look cool.  in my head i look AWESOME.  i’m all hardcore and serious.  i am an athlete with athletic skills and stuff.  and with one run that darn mirror killed my dream.  that mirror is a dream killer.

i tried to tweak my moves — you know to match the dream with reality.  i pulled myself up straight–   to lessen the defeated, downtrodden look my normal posture portrays.  i tucked my arms in tight–  to lessen the bird flap quality i didn’t know existed until that mirror killed my fantasy.  i tried putting more of a bounce in my stride–  so i didn’t look so dejected.  also super cool— my wide head band made my head look incredibly tiny.  which made my body look freakishly off  balance.  awesome.

shrunken head syndrome.

not good.

just sayin’.

so.  the first attempt to get a long run in was a total fail.  but, i did learn an important lesson– a bottle of wine and a full length mirror should be cut completely out of my training regimen.

baby, i was born to run…

Oh honey, tramps like us
baby we were born to run

Come on with me, tramps like us
baby we were born to run


bring on the pain

that’s right, homeskillets–  it’s time to start training for the half marathon.

it’s time to bring the pain for a t-shirt.

it’s time for the blisters.

and the tears.

and the trail.

and the possible potty mishap!

it’s time.  to RUN. 

and, to teach the road who’s BOSS….

Oh honey, tramps like us
baby we were born to run

Come on with me, tramps like us
baby we were born to run


a personal note

i am LIVING this clip right now.  i feel like i’m talking a different language, and i am totally not gotten.

in the past month i have had a couple of relationship breakdowns.  i have opened myself up, really tried to connect, to get personal.  so, of course, i’ve been talking, homeskillets.  shocked i’m sure.

so.  there i am. yakking away.  i think i’m sharing some good stuff, and i am hit with a look or sent a non-verbal cue that i’m not cool.

i’ve been really thinking about this.

is it me?  AM I NOT COOL????  that can’t be right.  CAN IT?

i have to admit.  this self-analysis stuff has been really harshin’ my flo.

so.  i’ve been wondering what is “cool”.

  • am i cool if i just do what others want me to do?

  • am i cool if i just keep my feelings stuffed inside?

  • am i cool if i choose to just talk about superficial stuff, and never ask hard questions?

no.  i don’t think changing or being uncomfortable with who i am is cool.

it’s cool to be messy and vulnerable.

it’s cool to get personal.

even if i get hurt.  even if i’m misunderstood.

cool or uncool — i don’t care.   i’m staying personal.

you’re a people, i’m a people

soooooooooooooo surprise, surprise–  life is hard.

and, i’ve finally figured out what makes it so hard– PEOPLE.

i am realizing more and more i have no control over the response of others.  i can not make ANYONE do ANYTHING.

darn it!

why won't anyone let me lead?!

this totally bugs me to no end because i think i’d make an awesome cruise director– like julie on the love boat.

i’d be all– “here are directions to the lido deck where you’ll find rest, relaxation, and scott baio making out with kristy mcnichol, but to get there you really need to walk through your junk first.  i know some excellent activities that can get you started such as, admitting you need help, communication, and being open to change– of course, most of these take place on the poop deck.”

are you ready to be a better passenger and enjoy your trip?   are you?   ARE YOU??  well then,  just listen to me okay… OKAY??!

(insert me in an awesome 80’s ensemble with a white-knuckle grip on my clipboard and crazy eyes)

me. with crazy eyes. holla.

i believe i can fix EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY–  i want to take action,  move toward change,  address messy issues head on.  unfortunately, PEOPLE get in my way.

darn it!

when this happens i’m left with frustration, anger, and out-of-control crazy eyes.

clearly, there is something wrong with this picture.  clearly, being in charge is not a good plan for me.  clearly.

i have to say–   God gave me an awesome set of crazy eyes as a clear indicator of my limited power.   whenever i get to feeling a little too big for my britches those eyes seem to pop out like a done turkey dinner.   HOLLA!

the most recent set of crazy eyes actually happened during my visit with boobah.  i was hoping for a certain type of visit.  i guess after a year of letters and missing her i had a few expectations some i was conscious of– and, some i had no clue i was feeling until the crazy eyes popped out and captain stubing was standing beside me welcoming the latest celebrity guest.

the obvious expectations were the tears that came as i rolled into marysville and saw the prison for the first time.  wow.  it’s a real place.  in the middle of nowhere.  and boobah is there–  with no freedom.

another feeling i expected was nervousness–  when we went through security and talked to the guard i said “yes, sir/ sorry, sir” like 3 million times in 2 minutes.

he finally said, “what are you sorry for?”

and, i was all, “i don’t know!  i’m just nervous and i want to get in there to her.”

(insert me in a slightly cool “mom”ensemble with fidgety hands and just a touch of crazy eyes)

note:  this behavior is NOT the best when entering the prison system– i’m pretty sure they flagged me and kept a close eye on me the entire visit.

i also knew i was gonna be excited to see boobah– i mean come on, it’s been a year– this is a no brainer.  i actually squeaked when she walked in.  i let out a loud, high-pitched squeak, and kinda did a spastic dance in my chair, and then we got to hug– it didn’t last nearly long enough.  ahhhhhhhhhh…. so good to see her face.

but, what came next really brought out my cruise director tendencies, and i truly didn’t see it coming.  boobah started talking about her hopes for her future–  where she would like to live once her time is served,  who she wants to be with, what she would like to do.  and, none of it looked like i wanted.

that’s when my insides started getting all antsy-like.  i could actually feel my, julie, cruise director, self start pulling out the clipboard.

clearly, boobah was WAY off track.

this was totally in my head

in my head the love boat theme started to play, and i was convinced she needed my guidance.  she just needed to listen to my directions and stay on my course and all would be right with the world.

i know.  i’m slightly not right.

i admit it was a HUGE internal struggle NOT to cruise direct.  i just listened and probably looked completely miserable, but i got through the visit just saying i wanted nothing but the absolute best for her future and i was here and committed to help her any way she needed.

this would be a happy ending IF i wasn’t so inclined to pull out the crazy eyes.

that’s right homeskillets, i blame it all on the eye balls–  i got home and wrote not 1, not 2 but 3 letters explaining how boobah should live her life the way i see it.  I KNOW — total crazy. complete loony.

thankfully God is FULL of grace and is working on my crazy-eyed, cruise directing ways, and i have sent apology letters and cards– i am nothing if not thorough in my nuttiness.

the beautiful thing about growing up in Christ is these fits don’t last quite as long as they used to, and i am quick to admit that the clipboard is just too much power for this ‘skillet.

seriously, who am i kidding?

once my crazy eyes have gone back to their natural state,  i UNDERSTAND boobah is in God’s hands– not mine.  i UNDERSTAND He has a plan that i cannot see.  i UNDERSTAND the Lord loves her more than i ever could.

I UNDERSTAND God is the ultimate cruise director.

sometimes i just forget– because i happen to be a PEOPLE too.

darn it!

if a homeskillet could travel — where would she go?

i’ve got another homeskillet wishlist on my mind– possibly brought on by cold weather, Christmas break, and total cabin fever.

like a bird....

i want to fly far–  far, far away.  i want to venture outside of my four walls and SEE something new.  EXPERIENCE something new.

and, i want to do this as a family–  take the hubs, thing 1, and thing 2 somewhere new and BE together in a different country.  that’s right, i said “a different country”—  ’cause if i’m gonna dream, i’m dreaming BIG and on another continent.

so.  if a homeskillet had the funds, the time, and the imagination–  where would she go?????

italy.  most definitely italy.  i want to eat my weight in pasta, ride around on the back of a vespa, and maybe buy a villa in tuscany.  (if diane lane can do it– why can’t i??)

ireland. as soon as i got there i would talk with an irish brogue and say things like, “would ye be after going to town then, young ‘skillet?”.  the entire family would wear nothing but cable knit sweaters and eat shepards pie for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  i’d hunt down bono, and he’d write a song inspired by our meeting–  something happy, with a nice beat.

australia. this place seems like a dream.  everyone walks around using words like “g’day”, “shelia”, and “bloke”–  plus, they have gorgeous beaches, kangaroos, koalas, and hugh jackman.  i would have to find a way to work the phrase, “the dingo ate your baby”, into EVERY conversation and go to all the places highlighted in the facts of life special– remember when natalie, blair, jo, and tootie went down under??!!  classic ’80s television.

austria/switzerland. i want to totally do a sound of music trip and pretend we’re the von trapp family escaping the nazi regime. the boys would each respond to a special whistle call, dress in clothes made from curtains, and sing EVERY song in the movie.  and, since this is a dream– the hubs and i would renew our vows in the cathedral where maria and the captain got married– i’d be wearing her gorgeous wedding dress, jason would be decked out in an awesome suit, and the pews would be filled with all of our friends and family (all expenses paid by us, of course).

oh, the places you would go...

these are just a few of the places i would go.

where would you go, ‘skillet???

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
by the incomparable Dr. Seuss

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.